are you reading anything good right now?

When I started doing less phone scrolling and more reading last year, I was so surprised at how much more reading I was able to do. And I developed this incredible love affair with reading that I never had when I was in school and was required to read.

Many of you reached out to me after that post, hoping to do more reading yourselves.

Sometimes, I write about ideas and things I'm trying in an effort at essentialism, and they end up sticking. Sometimes, they help for just a short time, and then they fall away.

This particular less-phone-more-book effort has stuck so well that I'm writing with an update to encourage any of you who'd like to read more: try it!

I went from reading an average of one book every two or three months to reading an average of one book a week.

I'm hesitant to put those numbers out there because it's not about hitting a number goal, and honestly if reading doesn't feel important to you right now in your life, I hope you'll do something else instead of scrolling on your phone. It's just that I'm so thrilled to see this tangible result of what can happen when all those small minutes are used in a different way. A chosen way.

As you take deep breaths and try to put down the phone, know that you are so not alone. Love to you.

PS: For the readers and would-be readers, below is my reading list from 2016. I'm surprised to learn that it's a vulnerable thing, sharing your reading list. I welcome your recommendations for my 2017 reading.

My 2016 Reading List

Fiction

  1. Chike and the River, Chinua Achebe
  2. Women of Sand and Myrrh, Hanan Al-Shaykh
  3. Kindred, Octavia E. Butler
  4. The Girl in the Road, Monica Byrne
  5. Half a Lifelong Romance, Eileen Chang
  6. Lust, Caution, Eileen Chang
  7. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  8. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
  9. Fortunately the Milk, Neil Gaiman
  10. After Dark, Haruki Murakami
  11. Binti, Nnedi Okorafor
  12. Kabu Kabu, Nnedi Okorafor
  13. Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor
  14. In the Skin of a Lion, Michael Ondaatje
  15. A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
  16. The Magician's Assistant, Ann Patchett
  17. The Patron Saint of Liars, Ann Patchett
  18. Run, Ann Patchett
  19. State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
  20. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett
  21. Happy are the Happy, Yasmina Reza
  22. Noah's Wife, Lindsay Starck
  23. The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson
  24. The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer

Non-Fiction

  1. Radical Acceptance, Tara Brach
  2. True Refuge, Tara Brach
  3. Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
  4. Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown
  5. Rising Strong, Brene Brown
  6. The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer, Dan Buettner
  7. Creativity, Inc., Ed Catmull
  8. The Art of Happiness at Work, The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
  9. Bringing Up Bebe, Pamela Druckerman
  10. Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
  11. Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
  12. Essential Writings, Thich Naht Hahn
  13. Lying, Sam Harris
  14. Waking Up, Sam Harris
  15. Thrive, Arianna Huffington
  16. Loving What Is, Byron Katie
  17. Show Your Work!, Austin Kleon
  18. Curious, Ian Leslie
  19. The Crossroads of Should and Must, Elle Luna
  20. The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer
  21. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, Parker J. Palmer
  22. 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write, Sarah Ruhl
  23. The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer
  24. Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed
  25. The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
  26. The Book of Forgiving, Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

A few that I read a good chunk of, really enjoyed, and for some reason never got back to:

  1. The Secret Life of Pronouns, James W. Pennebaker
  2. Real Food/Fake Food, Larry Olmsted
  3. Unfinished Business, Anne-Marie Slaughter (November/December)

And a final note: I also quit a few books on purpose this year. They didn't work for me, and since I've discovered about a gazillion books I dearly want to read, I decided not to spend time finishing a book just because I'd started it!